Ayn Rand's Anthem the Graphic Novel

Charles Santino and Joe Staton, New American Library, $15 (144p) ISBN 978-0-451-23217-5
In a future where misguided egalitarianism has reduced a once-vibrant civilization to a handful of doctrinaire serfs living in the rubble of what once was, Equality 7-2521 rejects the mindless collectivism of his people to embrace individuality. His curiosity about the mysteries of the past is anathema to those selected to rule; Equality's rejection of his assigned menial role is if anything an even greater affront to his master. Forced by the lesser men around him to flee, Equality and his lover, Liberty 5-3000, find refuge in a conveniently preserved chalet, free to rediscover eternal truths suppressed by their totalitarian forefathers. Adapted from Rand's 1938 novella, Staton's art is oddly crude for such a veteran artist, but oddly well suited for Rand's clumsy, hectoring story. The product of a time when authoritarian regimes seemed destined to prevail, written by a refugee from the Russian revolution, Anthem might have been a valuable reminder of what happens when ideology trumps humanitarian concerns, but sadly, Rand was not up to the task; Santino and Staton do what they can with this dismal tribute to egotism, but the result is still a hard slog. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Comics
Open Ebook - 144 pages - 978-1-101-47915-5
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